On June 9, 2022 we announced the opening of the second year of the Create Action grant program, an initiative designed to support local, community-based nonprofit organizations that are making a direct and positive impact for the people in underserved communities. In the program’s first year, which ended on March 31st, 2022, we received applications from hundreds of incredible organizations across the United States and have learned a lot about the elements of a successful Create Action application. We’d like to share this insight with our community and help all non-profit organizations that apply put their best foot forward.
Read The Fine Print
Before starting your application,please review the official contest rules and ensure you’re clear on eligibility requirements. Besides all the legal minutiae, you’ll also find important information on application requirements and judging criteria. Understanding those will allow you to create an application that responds directly to the requirements and stays aligned with the judging criteria.
Balance The Big Picture With The Specific Need
In Create Action’s first year, the most successful applications were able to provide both information on their overall plan and objectives, and also create a clear picture of how their action plan for the grant was going to fit into the big picture of their work. The grant funds typically go toward specific initiatives, so it’s important for the members of the reviewing panel to understand how those activities support the organization’s overall mission. A strong application will be able to leave the reviewer with a clear vision of where the organization is headed over the next year, and what specific initiatives it’s looking to fund with the grant resources.
Focus On The Key Details
Depending on your organization’s mission, there will be key points that will make the most difference in your journey. Rather than providing a full inventory of all the initiatives you’re involved in and the details associated with each of those, highlight the specific things you believe are most pertinent to your mission and will help the reviewing panel get a clear picture of where you’ve been and where you’re headed.
Stay Organized And On Point
Before filling out the application, go over the three sections and organize your thoughts and key supporting points for each section. The application allows you to showcase both your experience and your plans, as well as provide key information regarding budget and equipment use. Plan your application as a progression from the big picture to the key details, and always read the instructions of what each section requires.
Review and Polish
Once your application sections are complete, review it one more time from beginning to end to ensure it covers everything you intended and meets all the requirements. At this point, it’s also good practice to proofread the entire application one more time, and ensure the story you’ve laid out is cohesive and focused.
The Create Action grant is an incredible opportunity to obtain funding and equipment for your mission, and we encourage all eligible organizations to enter. The sooner you submit your application, the more opportunities you will have to win, as applications are considered on a rolling basis every month. You’ll be eligible to win any of the remaining grants starting at the time of your application—for instance, if you apply during the June 9th to June 30th 2022 application period, you’ll be in the running for all ten grants offered.
And if you represent an organization that applied in the program’s first year, it’s time to do it again.
Good luck to all and let’s Create Action together!